Real Engagement - The Fine Art of Building Relationships that Work

10/08/14 | Comments [0]

The new buzz word in the virtual marketing world is engagement.  But what happens on social media is just one aspect of engagement, and a very narrow one at that.  What engagement really boils down to, regardless of context, is relationship building. Whether you are discussing Facebook likes, or visitors to your website, or commenters on your blog, or actual customers who walk through your door, engaging is just another way to talk about relationship building.  As powerful as social media or the internet can be, it is only one of many contexts where building a relationship, or engagement, is critical.

How do you connect with your clients? How do you communicate with your employees? Are your suppliers and subcontractors easy to work with, or are many of your relationships challenging? Ultimately that lead needs to become a customer, and the supplier needs to give you a quote, and your employee needs to be able to function with autonomy and clarity of vision. News Flash: all of… Read The Full Post »

Networking Tools Checklist

08/06/13 | Comments [0]

Networking is a great way to meet new friends and make valuable connections for your business, which often result in new clients. But networking effectively requires more than just showing up with a smile where folks gather; you’re gonna need a plan and some important stuff to make the most of your meetings.

Here’s your list of must-have networking tools:
1. A networking plan.  Where, when, with whom, and why are you networking?

2. A killer elevator speech with an awesome 30-second follow-up so you can answer that “what do you do” question comfortably and clearly.

3. A memorable self-introduction.  It can be sweet, charming, funny, or even surprising, but it must help others remember you in a positive light.

4. A business card. Duh. The people you meet may want to connect with you later, and a business card with your contact information makes that happen.

5. A pen. Because you’re going to want to take notes.

6. A great answer to the “what’s new” question, so that you… Read The Full Post »

The Three F’s Every Successful Entrepreneur Should Master

06/03/13 | Comments [0]

MercyCorps NW

By Kent Lewis. Kent will be presenting “Learning from a Serial Entrepreneur” on Wednesday, June 5th from 6 to 9 pm.

As a long-time entrepreneur, I’ve had the opportunity to found and co-found a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations. More recently, I’ve sat on advisory boards for other companies and have been mildly surprised at the nature of the common struggles they each face.  While there are many moving parts required to build a successful business, I’ve encapsulated the most common obstacles into the “Three F’s” every startup must master.


If you’ve read the E-Myth, you know not many businesses come as a ‘vision from above.’ Most are born out of a hard reality: getting fired (like me), laid off, bored or are somehow inspired to make a change. Most entrepreneurs are technicians within a specific discipline expertise (sales, plumber or engineer) who decide it was time to go out on their own. Many of those new business owners start… Read The Full Post »

Countdown to Health Reform

05/31/13 | Comments [0]

MercyCorps NW

By Adrienne Hutchins, a Portland based insurance broker. Adrienne will present “Obamacare Clarified” on June 19th, 6:00PM - 7:30PM.

Understanding your health plan options is a very important part of your budgeting and planning.  Most people working for a business offering health insurance might spend an average of 30 minutes each year in deciding which health plan is best for them & their families. 

The main provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will take effect on January 1, 2014.  Pre-existing condition limitations will be removed from health plans, and the Individual Mandate will take effect, imposing tax penalties on those going without health insurance.  Oregon’s Health Insurance Exchange will be up and running, offering a new array of plan options available to all Oregonians.  If enrolling on a plan through the Exchange you might be eligible to receive a subsidized premium which will be based on your income and family size.  Many questions will arise as to… Read The Full Post »